Flash flooding closes Kamehameha Highway near Waikane, traps motorists in vehicles
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018
  • 80°

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Flash flooding closes Kamehameha Highway near Waikane, traps motorists in vehicles

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Motorists were trapped this afternoon by rising floodwaters on Kamehameha Highway near Waikane.

  • COURTESY BEN COLE

    This photo shows damage to a condo from a lightning strike Saturday night at Windward Estates in Kaneohe.

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Firefighters and a good Samaritan rescued several motorists caught in flooding today on Kamehameha Highway near Waikane.

Honolulu Fire Capt. Kevin Mokulehua said firefighters received a call about trapped motorists near Waikane Store at about 1:10 p.m.

At about 2 p.m., firefighters were still trying to reach motorists in their vehicles because of the deep water.

He said firefighters found three vehicles stranded in about two to three feet of water — a pickup with one man inside, a minivan with a woman and child inside, and a sedan that appeared to have been abandoned by its driver.

He said the good Samaritan drove a tractor into the water to get the firefighters closer to the stranded motorists. Firefighters then used rescue boards, rope and life vests to retrieve the woman and child, then the man from their vehicles, which were left standing in the water.

No one was injured. Police said the road was closed between Waikane Valley Road and Kualoa Ranch because of flooding and mudslides.

Mokulehua said floodwaters were moving at about 17 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Oahu around 12:40 p.m. and extended it several times.

Meanwhile, firefighters were kept busy over the past 24 hours because of the bad weather, including a lightning strike that damaged a roof in Kaneohe.

At about 10:25 p.m. Saturday, a lightning strike damaged the roof of a condo at Windward Estates in Kaneohe, Mokulehua said.

Firefighters responded and assisted the homeowner with tarps to limit water damage from the rain after the lightning opened a hole in the man’s roof.

At about 1:15 a.m. today, firefighters responded to a man trapped in his vehicle by rising waters near Kamehameha Highway and Wailehua Road and helped the man get to safety, Mokulehua said.

Between 10:25 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. today, firefighters responded to a total of seven flooding or weather-related incidents. All of the calls were for the windward side.

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